Gary Vaynerchuck Wants you to Invest in Memorabilia — Here’s What you Need to Know About Rare Cards and Grading

Everything from rampant fraud, strategies, rarity, and the arbitrary; from Pokémon to sports cards.

Anthony Andranik Moumjian
21 min readNov 2, 2020


card owner: packfan15412 on 1986–1987 Fleer Michael Jordan, one of the rarest cards because there are almost no cards with a perfect grade.

There is some really expensive cardboard out there. For almost everybody out there, save a few, it would be mind-numbing to think that they could be worth several millions of dollars.

For the uninitiated, it sounds maddening. To the initiated, it’s fairly arbitrary. To those who truly understand this world, people like Gary Vaynerchuck function like a hurricane crashing against an otherwise beautiful shoreline.

Gary Vaynerchuck’s voice is something of a train wreck. It’s loud, filled with spittle, but something you want to listen to even though you know you’re probably receiving a gross simplification of a complicated and niche topic.

However, every once in a while, his words may be touching a subject that’s highly interesting. Even when both his commentary and opinion are ungrounded, that is.

We’ll go over what he said, what is true, what is absolutely false, and what you need to know before you take the plunge into this world of outrageously priced, scientifically-graded cardboard.

Entering memorabilia

Sports cards, and card collection, have been an American past time since tobacco companies began putting them into cigarette packs as a way to boost sales in the early 1900s. Baseball cards have been around since the 1860s.

Since then, a variety of companies have formed to produce these cards, gaining partnerships with the owners for autographs, pieces of jerseys, and everything in between.

To add to that, there has been a slew of lawsuits between the card companies and the players and sports leagues. To make things even crazier, these cards are often graded scientifically to tell the world without a shadow of a doubt whether the card is authentic and whether it’s actually in decent condition.

A lot of this leaves room for the new generation’s guru to entice them into the new Ponzi scheme. There is an inevitable truth in the underbelly…



Anthony Andranik Moumjian

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries: